February 24, 2013 by Joanne T Ferguson
When I was little, my dad used to grow the most beautiful, juiciest, “best looking and tasting” tomatoes EVER, TRUE! So I got “spoiled” from a very young age with home grown tomatoes made with TLC too! Are there anything else but tomatoes home grown with TLC? 😉
Honestly, before attending the Tomato Festival 2013 (in the 35+ degree heat ) at “our” (am a VERY PROUD South Aussie! 😉 😉 ) beautiful Adelaide Botanic Gardens venue, my experience with tomatoes (as I described it to one of the growers) was “a long time connoisseur” of my dad’s tomatoes with very fond childhood memories. My dad had a green thumb, but that was not one of the family traits that was passed onto me! 🙂
I do enjoy a juicy, sweet, beautiful tasting tomato. YOU?
So, let’s “pretend” all one knows about tomatoes is we eat them, we cook with them, we enjoy the taste. (or not) Attending yesterday’s “first annual” Tomato Festival was not only FUN and “informative“, but to me, food is the “never ending journey” of knowledge; no matter how inexperienced or experienced one might be, there is always something to learn! And learn I did yesterday!
This year’s Festival is a joint initiative between the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, The Digger’s Club and the Botanic Restaurant. The Digger’s Club was set up in 1978 whose purpose was to “rescue the wonderful old varieties of vegetables“.
As my friend’s can attest to, I have the “gift of the gab” ESPECIALLY when I am passionate about food! I would like to personally thank Simon of Jupiter Creek Farm for taking the time to explain about the Brix testing; brix is the measure of the sugar content of a liquid. The brix refractometer can measure what percentage of the tomato are made up of sugar aand when the grower knows when the tomato is “ready“. While the brix refractometer is the best tool to measure a tomato’s “quality“, there is nothing like first hand experience to tell when a tomato is ready to be picked and sold. I really enjoyed learning something new yesterday, along with how many varieties of tomatoes there are.
Taste, Texture, Appearance added to the total score of the varieties of tomatoes. I personally really appreciate having the opportunity to experience various varieties I had never previously tasted. While some appealed “visually” to me, the “proof was in the tasting. 😉
Onto the cooking! 😉
I “particularly” enjoyed the WONDERFUL cooking demonstration by Dr. Pietro Demaio. I REALLY and genuinely enjoyed his PASSION of sharing his love of Preserving the Italian Way with his family life story. The cooking demonstration was “very inspiring” as I always have wanted to learn how to “preserve, pickle and make salami too!”
Due to the heat, the Tomato Tales guided tour was cancelled yesterday, but that didn’t stop this (sometimes 5 year old kid) from obtaining a Tasty Tomato Trail sheet to discover various “semi hidden” tomato signs around the gardens. I “truly” felt like I was like a little kid finding the hidden Easter Eggs!
What a GREAT interactive event that appeals to “kids of all ages” When I found all of the allotted tomatoes, I took my sheet back where I obtained a free pack of seeds as well as filled out a courtesy survey of the event!
I think you can tell from my smile I “GENUINELY” enjoyed the Tomato Festival. “They say, “time flies when you are having fun!” I arrived at 9:30 am and departed around 4pm; what a GREAT day! I loved the tomato tastings, cooking demonstration and best of all interacting with the local tomato producers and learning a lot in the process too!
What a beautiful Adelaide Botanic Gardens venue that I would HIGHLY recommend tourists and “locals as tourists in our own town” visit throughout the year! I look forward to next year’s Tomato Festival event too!
I hope I can inspire you to “seek out and explore” various varieties of tomatoes; perhaps growing your own, TRUE!
Have you ever wanted to “Preserve, Pickle and make Salami too?” 😉 🙂 🙂 🙂